Southwest Florida Christian Academy 2020-2021
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+ . 2020-2021 Elementary Parent/Student Handbook Southwest Florida Christian Academy Southwest Florida Christian Academy, a ministry of McGregor Baptist Church, will partner with Christian parents to provide their children with a distinctively biblical and academically excellent education that will equip students to successfully engage the culture for Christ.
2 Contents School Overview………………………………………………………………………3 General School Policies…………………………………………………………....…11 Elementary School Policies……………………………………………………..…....24
3 School Overview Table of Contents History of SFCA 4 Vision Mission Core Values Operating Principles Philosophy of Christian Education 7 Statement of Faith Educational Goals 8 Creation Statement 9 King’s 10 Accreditation
4 Southwest Florida Christian Academy History Southwest Florida Christian Academy was started in 1994 with 75 students in grades K-3. In our second year, we nearly tripled in size with 200 students in grades K-6. For the 1996 school year, we added grades 7-9 and another 100 students. Tenth grade was added in 1997, 11th grade in 1998, and 12th grade in 1999. We proudly graduated our first class of students on May 26, 2000. Vision Southwest Florida Christian Academy is a ministry of McGregor Baptist Church, dedicated to excellence in education, empowering students to reach their educational goals and to exemplify Christ through a lifestyle of leadership, service, stewardship and worship. Mission Southwest Florida Christian Academy, a ministry of McGregor Baptist Church, will partner with Christian parents to provide their children with a distinctively biblical and academically excellent education that will equip students to be godly leaders and to successfully engage the culture for Christ. Core Values In order to fulfill its mission, Southwest Florida Christian Academy will honor the following core values: The Bible The Christian Family Quality, Bible-based Education The Church Qualified, Christian Staff Stewardship Discipleship of Students Operating Principles SFCA’s daily operation will be guided by the following operating principles in an effort to fulfill its mission in accordance with its core values: Core Value #1 – The Bible (2 Timothy 3:15-17) The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God that is the authority for all that is done at SFCA. SFCA will: • Teach the Bible as the source of absolute truth. • Integrate the Bible into all aspects of SFCA life. • Form the basis of its philosophy of education on the principles of God’s Word. • Develop and implement policies and procedures that are consistent with God’s Word.
5 • Expect all faculty, board, and staff to study the Bible and apply its principles to everyday life. • Implement a comprehensive Bible curriculum (K-12) that will lead students to study, memorize and apply God’s Word to their life. Core Value #2 – The Christian Family (Ephesians 5; Genesis 1) The Christian family is the foundational unit for society that is based on the biblical pattern for marriage and family in accordance with God’s will. SFCA will: • Develop policies and procedures that honor the Christian family. • Develop strong home-school relationships through clear and effective communication with parents. • Develop and maintain unity between home and school by encouraging mutual respect between home and school authorities. • Teach all students God’s ideal for the marriage relationship and the family. • Pray for and with SFCA’s families. • Help parents understand and fulfill their biblical responsibilities as presented in Kingdom Education. Core Value #3 – Quality, Bible-based Education (Proverbs 9:10) A quality education encompasses the total educational program based upon the foundation that all knowledge and wisdom are from God. SFCA will: • Design an educational program that will meet the spiritual, mental, physical and social needs of each student. • Design and use curriculum and teaching methods that are grounded in God’s absolute truth. • Challenge all students to reach their full potential in all aspects of their school life. • Employ, develop and retain godly teachers who strive for excellence in all areas of their lives. • Develop a comprehensive K-12 Bible curriculum that will effectively lead the students in a thorough study and application of God’s Word. • Provide teachers with the training necessary for them to effectively plan and implement biblical worldview integration in the classroom instruction. • Provide teachers with the necessary training on the biblical philosophy of education found in Kingdom Education. • Teach all students that man is born with a sin nature and in need of Christ. • Encourage students to seek God’s plan for their life. • Develop an educational program that will equip students to engage all areas of the culture for Christ by utilizing the gifts and talents they have received from God. Core Value #4 – The Church (1 Corinthians 12:12-14; Ephesians 4:12-13) The church is the body of believers whose purpose is to fulfill the Great Commission. SFCA will: • Develop policies and procedures that will honor the purpose of the local church. • Recognize that it is a ministry of McGregor Baptist Church and submit to the church’s spiritual authority. • Require all board members, administration, faculty and staff to be active members of a local, Bible- believing church. • Encourage all school families to become active members of a local, Bible-believing church.
6 • Teach all students God’s purpose for the church so that students will understand the importance of being an active member of and serving in a local church. • Continually work at developing strong relationships with local churches in the Ft. Myers area. Core Value #5 – Qualified, Christian staff (Luke 6:40; 1 Timothy 3:1) A qualified, Christian staff is comprised of born again Christians who have a calling to Christian education and the training necessary to fulfill their responsibilities. SFCA will: • Develop a staff selection process that will ensure that all staff have a calling to Christian education, possess the skills necessary to fulfill their responsibilities and can effectively communicate the plan of salvation to others. • Hire staff that have a personal relationship with Christ and live a life in support of the school’s statement of faith. • Provide all staff with a continuing staff development program that will enable them to develop professionally and meet certification requirements. • Provide all faculty with training in the principles of Kingdom Education and effective biblical worldview integration. • Select, develop and retain board members, administration, faculty and staff who exhibit Christ-like attitudes and behaviors. • Encourage administration, faculty, staff and students to model Christ by serving others in the school and community. Core Value #6 – Stewardship (James 1:17) Stewardship is the awareness that everything one has belongs to God and must be effectively managed for His glory. SFCA will: • See, appreciate, and effectively manage everything, everyone, and every day as a stewardship responsibility from God. • Model and train students to appreciate and effectively manage all that God provides. • Establish policies and procedures that reflect biblical principles of stewardship. • Implement and manage a budget based on biblical principles of stewardship. • Hold the board, administration, faculty and staff accountable to fulfill their duties in a way that will honor the Lord and assist the school in achieving its mission. Core Value #7 – Discipleship (John 8:31; 1 John 2:6) Discipleship is demonstrated by a commitment to a consistent application of the Word of God to all of life. SFCA will: • Encourage staff and students to exemplify the fruit of the Spirit. • Strive to instill godly character in all students through all of the school’s educational programs. • Develop and enforce the school’s discipline policies that will emphasize the importance of Christ-like behavior. • Commit itself to the absolute authority of the Bible. • Train students in daily Bible study, prayer, devotion and application of biblical principles in every area of life. • Encourage discipleship relationships across all levels of the school.
7 • Integrate the Bible into all subjects and areas of the school. • Prepare the students for a lifelong commitment to the discipleship process. Philosophy of Christian Education We live in a world with two views of life. It is from these two opposing world views man contemplates his existence and finds value and purpose in life. We believe God is the center of His creation. God the Father is our loving creator. Out of nothing He created all that we know and all that we are yet to discover. God is active in His creation, having plans and directions for each of His children. Jesus is man’s bridge to God. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to us as Christians. He is our helper and our guide as we live the adventure of our spiritual pilgrimage. Man can only be understood in context of a God-centered world view. Our potential, our reason and our purpose is enveloped in the fact that man is the centerpiece of God’s creation. Education must address the needs of the “whole man.” A Christian approach to education will insure sensitivity to the unique needs of each individual. The imparting of God’s knowledge and wisdom is the goal of Christian education. The desire to be a life-long learner of His truth is the mark of a maturing disciple. Truth and reality are found only in a world view focused on God. God’s Word, the Bible, is His revelation to man. The daily lives of God’s people will be changed as a result of knowing and studying God’s Word. The education of a child or young person must be a cooperative effort with the family. It is the parental responsibility to see that children are taught a proper understanding of the world. Thus, Christian education becomes a partnership between parents, the church and the school in this important task of exploring and discovering a God-centered world view. Education itself is not the answer to man’s problems. It is only as we start with the knowledge of an all-knowing and loving creator that we can successfully educate. In this process of education, we will not only impart wisdom and knowledge for this world, but we will prepare man for eternity! Statement of Faith 1) We believe God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are coequal and are one God. (See Genesis 1:1, 26-27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2; II Corinthians 13:14.) 2) We believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is coequal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (See Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14-15; I Corinthians 15:3-4; Romans 1:3-4; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13.)
8 3) We believe the Holy Spirit is coequal with the Father and the Son of God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living and understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians we seek to live under His control daily. (See II Corinthians 3:17; John 14:16-17, 16:7-13; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:16.) 4) We believe the Bible is God’s Word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any mixture of error. (See II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:20-21; II Timothy 1:13; Psalm 12:6, 119:105, 160; Proverbs 30:5.) 5) We believe people are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has tremendous potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life. (See Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1-2.) 6) We believe salvation is God’s free gift to us, but we must accept it. We can never make up for our sin by self- improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can anyone be saved from sin’s penalty. When we turn from our self-ruled life and turn to Jesus in faith, we are saved. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith. (See Romans 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:12, 14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26; Romans 5:1.) 7) We believe because God gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, the true believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. If you have been genuinely saved, you cannot “lose” it. Salvation is maintained by the grace and keeping power of God that gives us this security. (See John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10-14; I Peter 1:3-5.) 8) We believe people were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is eternal existence in Hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life in Heaven. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. (See John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; I Corinthians 2:7-9.) Educational Goals The Student in Relation to God That the student develops. . . • A growing knowledge of the Triune God, a growing trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior from sin, and an increasingly worshipful, sanctified life. • A growing knowledge of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God, a proper understanding of Law and Grace, an increased ability to apply God’s Word to life situations, and a desire to gain the blessings of following Christ’s ordinances. • An understanding of the nature, function and responsibility of the church as the body of Christ, and a willingness and ability to serve as an active member of this body.
9 The Student in Relation to Himself and His Powers (abilities) That the student. . . • Develops knowledge, attitudes and practices needed to function effectively as God’s child (spiritual powers). • Understands his/her body and accepts responsibility for its health, safety, habits and activities (physical powers). • Develops logical, scientific and creative thinking habits, gains knowledge and communication tools and acquires significant elements of his/her cultural heritage (mental powers). • Develops social skills needed to live competently and creatively (social powers). • Understands and controls his/her emotions, finds security and a true picture of himself/herself through firm reliance on God and trust in Christ, and practices Christian love toward all men (emotional powers). The Student in Relation to His Fellow Men That the student. . . • Recognizes all men to be God’s creation and shows respect, courtesy and consideration for the rights and welfare of others. • Respects parents as God’s representatives and appreciates his/her privileges and responsibilities as a member of an earthly family of which Christ is the Head. • Develops Christian social responsibility and cooperative skills. • Develops concern for the spiritual and material welfare of all men and shows this concern by witnessing and sharing with others. • Respects government as God-ordained and appreciates his/her privileges and responsibilities as a member of the local, state and national community. The Student in Relation to Nature That the student . . • Understands that God is the Creator, Ruler and Preserver of nature. • Thanks and praises God for the gifts of nature. • Develops knowledge, attitudes and practices needed to understand, use and care for God’s gifts in nature. • Willingly uses nature to glorify God and serve man. Creation Statement We at Southwest Florida Christian Academy feel a strong duty to teach Creation Science as a basis for understanding our origins. We believe in the creation of all that we know out of “nothing.” All life is a wonderful gift from God to be respected and cared for. A true understanding of the present world requires correlation of all the data of science within the framework of the Bible. For us this would include the following thoughts: • Special creation of all things in six literal days. • The fact of a universal flood as evidenced by both biblical and geological record. • Biblical genealogies are for origin purposes. This makes it difficult to use these genealogies for establishing absolute time prior to Abraham. The fossil record and geological record of time support special creation. • Man’s methods of dating yield conflicting ages, and therefore must be viewed as erroneous.
10 King’s At SFCA we are the King’s. The name is a witness that we belong to the King of Kings. Each staff member has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We strive to see each child trust Jesus as personal Lord and Savior. It is our expectation that each student will reflect his/her personal salvation by living a life pleasing to the Lord as they serve the King of Kings. Accreditation Southwest Florida Christian Academy is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools through Cognia and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). The ACSI provides its 3,800 member schools with such benefits as: a credentialing process for teachers, teacher conventions, leadership and training seminars, assistance with standardized testing, curriculum development, and representation of Christian schools in state and national issues concerning Christian education. ACSI also sponsors student activities such as Spelling Bees, Speech Meets, Music Festivals, Science Fairs and Math Olympics.
11 General Policies Table of Contents Admissions Procedures 12 Communicable Diseases…………………..17 Nondiscriminatory Policy Medication Policy Qualifications for Admission Suspected Child Abuse Procedures Care of Property…………………………...18 Financial Procedures and Policies 13 Valuables and Money Fees/Payments Lost and Found Late Payments Telephone Calls/Messages Student Withdrawal Policy Cell Phones/Communication Devices Financial Aid……………………………14 Backpacks…………………………………19 Financial Support Birthdays Fundraising Events Bicycles/Skateboards/Rollerblades Christian Giving Opportunity Food and Drink Campus Procedures Copy Machines Office Hours Field Trips/Guidelines…………………….20 School Hours Field Trip Transportation Change of Address Fire Drills………………………………….21 Transportation……………………………15 Lock Down Drills King’s Crew Lightning Policy Child Care Hurricane Procedures Closed Campus Internet Access/Technology Lunch Visitation Network Warning Prox Card Policy Responsible Use Guidelines for BYOD… 22 Hallway Passes…………………………..16 School Services………………………… 23 Off Campus Guidance Off Limit Areas Lunch Program……………………………24 Personal Injury and Accident Library Student Health and Welfare Standardized Testing Illness and Medication Are You Saved?
12 Admissions Procedures Nondiscriminatory Policy Southwest Florida Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and financial aid programs, athletics and other school administered programs. Qualifications for Admission • The family should support SFCA’s doctrinal position and Statement of Faith. • The student must demonstrate a pattern of achievement on standardized testing that indicates that he/she is prepared to succeed in the grade level at which they are applying. Applicants must score at the 50th percentile or higher on an approved standardized test in grades 1-5 and a 70th percentile in Kindergarten. • The student must have a “C” average, or a 2.0 GPA, in the present school year as indicated on a current report card or transcript. • The student must be in good behavioral standing for a minimum of one year in their current school. • The student must provide one (1) completed academic recommendation form (Grades K-5). • The student must have a desire to attend Southwest Florida Christian Academy and be willing to comply with the school’s standards as printed in the Student Handbook. Procedures The following procedures must be followed so that the application can be processed in a timely fashion. Before you begin, be sure you understand the admissions guidelines, the basic purposes and objectives of our school, our statement of faith and this handbook. 1. Complete online application at sfcaking.org. 2. Distribute the reference form to the appropriate person. 3. Fill out all information as indicated on the application and submit it along with the registration fee. (No application will be processed without payment of fees.) 4. Please provide a copy of your child’s current report card. Homeschool students should complete a home school transcript. 5. Each student will be required to furnish the school with a valid Florida immunization form, a Florida physical exam form, and a copy of his/her birth certificate. All HRS requirements for immunizations must be met. 6. If a student’s natural parents are divorced, a copy of custody papers may be required. 7. If necessary, the Registrar will call you with a testing appointment date (new applications only). 8. After the testing is completed, an interview will be scheduled for the parents and student with the Principal. 9. Once this process has been completed, the Administration will make a decision on your application and this will be discussed at the New Parent Interview. 10. If SFCA does not have a program to meet the needs of a student, or the Student does not meet the Qualifications of Admissions, his/her request for admissions will be denied and the registration fee will be refunded except for a $75.00 fee per student. 11. A limited amount of scholarship and financial aid money is available. Financial Aid guidelines and
13 applications are available on the school’s website (sfcakings.org) and must be filled out each year for which the aid is requested. Financial aid is awarded in the spring. Late applications may be considered if funds are available. Note: Class assignments are made for the duration of the school year and are based upon gender, student learning style, student needs, ratio of new students and returning students, the instructor’s teaching style, and the individual student personalities. Financial Procedures and Policies Fees/Payments The enrollment fee must accompany the application. This fee is non-refundable except when the student has not been accepted into the school. If this is the case, only $75 of the registration fee is completely non-refundable. Textbooks should last five years. Unreasonable wear or loss of the book will result in additional charges. Payment options for tuition are below. All families must create a FACTS account. This will enable the tuition to be automatically debited from their account. 1. Pay the full amount before July 1 and receive a 2% discount. FACTS accounts must be created by June 17th. No FACTS enrollment fee will be charged. 2. Pay in two payments, July 1 and December 1. FACTS accounts must be created by June 17th. A $10 FACTS enrollment fee will be charged to parents 14 days after the account has been finalized. 3. Pay by establishing an automatic debit from your checking or savings account for monthly payments. FACTS accounts must be created by July 7th. A $45 FACTS enrollment fee will be charged to parents 14 days after the account has been finalized. Late Payments • It is important that all accounts be kept current in order to avoid any additional fees. Non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees for debits that are returned will incur a $30.00 FACTS fee. If there is a second NSF then a $25 SFCA fee will be assessed as well as a $30 FACTS fee. • All report cards and student records will be withheld until a past due account is paid in full. Any family with an outstanding balance, whether in the previous year’s tuition or in another program of McGregor Baptist Church, cannot enroll the child for another year until the previous balance has been paid in full. Student Withdrawal Policy • Notice must be given in writing to the school office with the effective withdrawal date. • All school property must be returned to the office, including items such as textbooks, locks, sports uniforms and any other school property. • WITHDRAWAL FEE: The withdrawal fee will be equal to one full month’s tuition for each student in the family. This will be charged to the student’s account, in addition to the pro-rated tuition owed up to the date of withdrawal. • All outstanding balances for tuition, withdrawal fees, NSF fees, before and after school care, sport fees, lunch IOU’s, library fines and any other fees that may have been incurred must be paid before student records can be released either to a parent or to a requesting school. • If tuition was pre-paid, any outstanding balances such as those mentioned above will be deducted from the refund. The Accounting Office will process the refund check and it will be mailed to the parent.
14 • NOTE: Transfer of Employment: If a family’s employer requires a job relocation or transfer greater than a 30 mile radius, please send documentation in writing to the school office. The withdrawal fee will be waived for this circumstance. Financial Aid See Admission Procedures Financial Support McGregor Baptist Church is the sponsor of Southwest Florida Christian Academy. It provides buildings and grounds and subsidizes other expenses of our school. The cost for utilities, custodians and all other expenses connected with running a school must be paid for with tuition, gifts to the school and special fund-raisers. Tuition covers only eighty to ninety percent of our total costs. The additional financial support must be raised through fund-raising events. Fundraising Events Throughout the school year, special fund-raisers are scheduled to provide for general budget needs, capital needs, specific programs and equipment expansion. It is our hope that every family would participate in these events. These major fundraisers will include our SFCA Fund and an Auction in the fall. Christian Giving Opportunities Parents, grandparents, alumni and friends of SFCA may also support the school by the giving of outright gifts, such as real estate, matching gift plans, cash, securities, wills, life insurance, life income plans and charitable gift annuities. If you are interested in contributing in this way, please contact the school’s development office. Campus Procedures Office Hours The school office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Please drop off any forgotten lunches, books or sports equipment at the office. If there is a change in pick up or transportation plans, please try to call the office before 2:00 p.m., allowing time to get the message to your child. Please limit any other types of messages and phone calls. Personal messages cannot be delivered to students. School Hours The Elementary schedule is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. except for Wednesdays in which the start time is 9:00 a.m. Change of Address Please update FACTS with any change of address or phone numbers. If you have a change of email address, you must contact the school office.
15 Transportation Transportation to and from school is not provided and is the responsibility of the parent. King’s Crew Morning supervision from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and after-school care from 3:35 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. is available for a fee. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. there is not fee for morning supervision. King’s Crew must be paid on a weekly basis. Once a balance becomes one week past due, services will be discontinued until the account is brought to a balance of zero. Childcare is provided for your convenience and your child’s safety. Please do not ask your child to break school rules by not going to childcare during the above hours when they are on campus. Under no circumstances should any student be left on campus before 7:00 a.m. or after 6:00 p.m. Closed Campus SFCA operates under a closed campus policy. Upon arriving at school, students are to remain in supervised areas until properly dismissed from school. All visitors must register with the school office. Parents must identify those persons with permission to pick up their child(ren). Any changes in that information must be given in writing in advance of a child leaving campus. Lunch Visitation Since SFCA is a closed campus, permits for lunch visitation are issued to immediate family members (parents, siblings, grandparents) only. Siblings visiting for lunch must be accompanied by a parent. Alumni may visit with prior approval from the Administration. All visitors must first sign in at the office to receive a visitor’s pass. Prox Card Policy Each student is issued a prox card upon enrollment. Returning students entering grades 3, 6, 9, and 11 will be required to update their photo and will be issued a new prox card. Students are required to carry their prox card at all times, with the exception of Kindergarten and 1st grade, while on campus and may not loan their prox badges to other students for the purpose of gaining access to SFCA facilities. In addition, students may not prop doors open unless given permission by an SFCA staff member. Regular prox card “checks” will be performed throughout the school year beginning in grade 3. Any student who loses their prox card must report it immediately to the school office and pay for its replacement. Students who maliciously damage prox readers or associated security equipment and cameras will be responsible for damages and related charges. The following discipline procedure will apply for those students who do not have their cards (per quarter): • 1st time – warning/parent notification • 2nd time – automatic silent lunch • 3rd time and thereafter – further disciplinary action
16 Hallway Passes It is the student’s responsibility to carry a teacher’s pass to be granted permission to report to different areas. A student is expected to report directly to his/her destination. Students out of an assigned area without a pass will be subject to discipline. If a teacher or staff member delays a student from getting to class on time, they will provide a pass so that the student will not be counted tardy. Off Campus No student is to leave the campus for any reason during school hours without first receiving written permission and then signing out in the office. If a student intends to miss a class, he/she must check with the teacher before signing out in the office. Absence from campus without permission is a serious offense, demanding stringent discipline. Students are not allowed to leave campus for lunch unless signed out by their parent. Students leaving campus without permission for lunch or any other reason will receive an automatic suspension. Off Limit Areas Students are to stay within their respective classroom areas. During school hours, off limit areas include the elevators, soda machines, preschool, coffee shop, church lobby and offices. Students are not permitted to use any phones within the church facility except the school office. Elementary students are not allowed to sit in the Hebrews Café area in the morning before school, without their parent present. They may not sit with another parent unless they have car-pooled with that family. All early students need to report to King’s Crew before 7:45 am. Personal Injury and Accident An accident resulting in personal injury, no matter how minor, is to be reported to the teacher or school office immediately. An accident report will be completed and kept on file. Any accidents that result in an injury to the head will result in a phone call to the parent(s) as well as a completed accident report. Student Health and Welfare The physical health and welfare of each student is of highest priority at Southwest Florida Christian Academy. We realize that our effectiveness in teaching spiritual, academic, and emotional truths is largely dependent on the physical well-being of the child. Please take the initiative to keep your child at home when he/she is ill, for his sake and for the sake of other children. Students who have a fever of 100.4 or are thought to be sick will be sent home immediately or isolated in a secondary clinic until a family member can come get them. (Never send your child to school with a fever, even if he/she feels fine.) Illness and Medication If a student becomes ill during the school day and is unable to return to class, the school will contact a parent. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or more, has vomited, has head lice or another communicable condition, he/she must be picked up by a parent or authorized person within 30 minutes. A student must be fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication before returning to school. If, in the opinion of school officials, an emergency exists, 911 will be called.
17 Communicable Diseases Upon having the following diseases, a child must have written consent from his/her physician or the Health Department in order to be readmitted to school: • COVID-19 (See Addendum to this year’s handbook) • Measles • Scarlet Fever • Mumps • Streptococcal Sore Throat • Whooping Cough • “Pink Eye” (Conjunctivitis) The physician, Health Department, or school official may clear a child for re-admittance following: • Chickenpox • Fifths Disease • Pneumonia • German Measles • Pinworms • Colds • Skin Diseases (scabies, ringworm, impetigo) • Influenza • Head Lice (must provide proof of completed treatment) Medication Policy • No student may take medication (prescription or non-prescription) while involved in a school activity unless he/she follows the procedures listed below. All medications must be kept in the school office (unless a parent signs a special permission form and is granted approval from Administration). Under no circumstances may a student share their medication with another student. • If at all possible, ask your doctor to schedule any medication that must be administered before or after school hours. • If medication must be given during school hours, the parent must complete a parent permission form. • All medications must be in the original container, clearly labeled with the child’s name and dosage information. (If you ask, the pharmacist will give you two bottles, one for home and one for school.) • Non-prescription medications will only be given with a written statement from your doctor. Be sure to label the bottle clearly with the child’s name and the dosage. • If a prescription medication will be given for more than two weeks, the doctor must complete a Doctor’s Permission for Medication form. The doctor’s office should have these forms, or they can be obtained from the school office. Suspected Child Abuse The state of Florida requires the reporting of suspected child abuse to the proper governmental authority when there is a reasonable suspicion or reasonable basis for believing that physical or emotional abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation, inadequate supervision, or other forms of abuse have occurred. While the school is expected to
18 communicate with parents regarding the well-being of their children, the administration is placed in a position of acting on behalf of the child and in accordance with state law. It is the school’s policy not to contact parents in advance of making a report to legal authorities. Appropriate school staff will make such reports in the best interest of the affected child and do not, once reasonable suspicion is established, have any legal alternative except to make the report to the proper authorities for their investigation and review. The school may also undertake an inquiry prior to making a report to determine whether or not there are sufficient grounds to require reporting. Care of Property The appearance of our school is a direct reflection of the respect that we have for one another and ourselves. We want our church and community to know that we are proud of the facilities God has provided for us. We ask that all students participate in making this possible by taking care of our property. Students are responsible for all property used by them, including buildings, grounds, vehicles used in transportation, books and other school equipment. The student(s) involved, or the parent(s), must pay for any damage or loss whether willful or accidental. Textbooks are purchased by the school and remain the property of SFCA, and, therefore, should be covered and taken care of properly. Valuables and Money Personal valuables are the responsibility of the owner; therefore, large sums of money and/or valuables should not be brought to school. SFCA cannot be held accountable for these items. Lost and Found A student should take care to keep his belongings secure. If a student loses an article, he should check in the school office to see if it has been returned. There is a $ .25 fee for each claimed item. All students are encouraged to bring any found items that do not belong to them to the school office. Unclaimed items are regularly donated to a volunteer service organization. To prevent this, please mark all personal items with your child’s name. Telephone Calls/Messages Students will not be called from the classroom for telephone calls. In case of emergency, a message for the student may be left in the office. In order to prevent classroom interruptions, no messages written, emailed or telephoned in will be delivered during the day unless it is an emergency. Students are not permitted to use any phones in the school or church. In an emergency, the student may ask the teacher to go to the school office for permission to make necessary calls. Cell Phones/Mobile Communication Devices Cell phone usage is not permitted during school hours. Any mobile communication device (including smart watches) carried on campus or on a school sponsored field trip must be secured in the student’s backpack and must be turned off unless permission is given for use. Upon entering a classroom, students must place their phone in the designated phone storage area.. If a student brings a cell phone to class or carries it during the school day, the teacher/staff member will initiate disciplinary action and the phone will be confiscated. (Confiscated phones will
19 be returned to parents only.) Possession of a cell phone during a test or quiz for any reason will automatically be considered cheating, and appropriate academic and disciplinary action will be taken. Under no circumstances may a student use the phone to photograph, video, make or receive phone calls, or text message during school hours. Any violation of this policy will result in immediate confiscation of the device, a fine, and other disciplinary action as deemed appropriate. Note: Because cell phones may also function as data storage devices, student cell phones brought to school are subject to inspection and review by school staff pursuant to the school’s normal search and seizure policy and administrative discretion. Backpacks The use of backpacks is encouraged; however, backpacks with wheels are not permitted on campus. Birthdays Parents may bring refreshments for the class on their child’s birthday. The teacher must be notified in advance. No gifts please. If your child is having a birthday party and you are giving out invitations, please do so through the mail. The only exception is if every child in the class is invited to the party. Then the invitations may be passed out through the teacher. Bicycles/Skateboards/Roller Blades Skateboards, roller skates, roller blades and bicycles may not be ridden on campus. During special activities that involve any of those items, teachers will supervise their use and proper safety equipment must be used. Food and Drink Students may have food and drink only in the school cafeteria, unless otherwise specified. Copy Machines Students are not to use any copy machine on campus for personal use without permission. When permission is given to make personal copies, students must pay $ .25 per copy. Field Trips 1. Field trips will be taken during the school year. They are learning experiences, primarily designed to enrich the curriculum of SFCA. 2. No student may participate in a field trip without the signed permission form. If extenuating circumstances prevent a student from participating in the field trip, the student must attend school and complete alternate assignments. No refunds will be given. 3. SFCA field trips are for current SFCA students only. No other students are allowed to attend. In most cases, siblings that are not enrolled in SFCA are not allowed to attend. 4. Any student on behavioral or academic probation may be excluded from a field trip.
20 5. Students with excessive behavioral issues during the school year may be ineligible for participation in overnight trips. This is up to the discretion of the teachers and proper administration. 6. School policies are in effect on all field trips on or off campus. 7. Students who attend activities (field trips, after-school sports, etc.) must have attended school the day of the activity. 8. Students are responsible for any academic material missed while on a school field trip or school activity. 9. If a student misses a scheduled test because of a field trip or school activity the student will be responsible to take the test the next day. Guidelines for Field Trips • Staff sponsors and chaperones are responsible for the behavior of all students while under their care and have the authority to correct a student. • Students are expected to follow the directions of the adult leaders. • Students are to be supervised at all times. Students cannot wander off. Students will be responsible for being where they are supposed to be on time and doing what is expected. • Students are not permitted to leave early without permission from SFCA staff. • Students must wear required field trip attire dictated by SFCA staff. • All chaperones supervising students must have a background check and attend volunteer training. Field Trip Transportation The SFCA School Board recognizes that the safest means of transporting students and children is the school bus. The Board policy states, “All students must ride the bus to and from the event if that is the approved (method) of transportation for the scheduled trip.” The Board also recognizes that there can be extenuating circumstances which require parents or guardians to provide transportation for their own child or children. The SFCA School Board has adopted the following guidelines and procedures related to the above policy: 1. If a student cannot ride the bus because of extenuating circumstances and will be riding with their parent(s) or guardian(s), approval must be obtained prior to the trip. A Transportation Waiver form must be signed and submitted to the office before a student may participate in the event. 2. Students who wish to leave with their parent(s) or guardians(s) after the event may do so provided they have notified the teacher or coach and have signed the appropriate roster in their possession. 3. A student may ride with another parent from the event only if written permission is given by both parents and this is signed off by the appropriate school official. A student may also be dismissed from the event to the care of a pre-approved close relative. 4. Students may not be given permission to drive other students to or from any school activity or event. 5. It is neither the sponsor’s responsibility nor that of anyone offering their services for carpooling to take any student home. If a parent is not available to pick up his/her child, it is the responsibility of that family to make other arrangements prior to the scheduled event. 6. Elective subject teachers and coaches may require students to ride the bus going to an event. Each coach and elective teacher must state in writing all his or her requirements for the class, sport or activity, including any bus riding requirements. Within the first two weeks of class or practice, all parents or guardians must sign and submit to the teacher or coach a statement that they have read these requirements and agree to abide by them. 7. Parents of students in grades K-4 are encouraged to join their children on most field trips. Parents of students in grades 5-12 are not permitted to serve as chaperones for most school trips.
21 Fire Drills Fire drills are held periodically. When the fire alarm sounds, everyone must exit the buildings in a quiet and orderly manner. Students will remain with the class and teacher they are with when the alarm sounds. Everyone will go to designated areas outside the buildings and wait for a signal that it is time to return to class. Lock Down Drill Lock down drills are held periodically. When instructed, students are to move away from all doors and windows to the area designated by their teacher. Students are to remain in this position and silent until the all clear signal is given. Lightning Policy A lightning prediction warning system is located on SFCA’s campus. Students are to follow all instructions given to them when a warning or red alert status is issued. Hurricane Procedures SFCA closings and re-openings due to pending weather conditions will be determined independent of Lee County or any other system. For information regarding specific closings or re-openings, you should contact the school number (936-8865), the church number (936-1754), or SFCA’s website (www.swfca.com). Internet Access/Technology SFCA has internet access for faculty and student use. A policy for acceptable use of the computer equipment and internet access has been established and is included in the application process. Students are expected to follow this policy and will be supervised by teachers while utilizing the internet. Additionally, students must have a signed copy of the usage agreement on file before using the computers. If you do not want your child’s picture published on the school’s website or forms of social media, please notify the school office in writing. Networking Warning Southwest Florida Christian Academy considers the use of computer technology to be vital to the educational process. SFCA takes every precaution to ensure safe and responsible use of computer network and internet resources. SFCA views information retrieval over the network and on local computer workstations in the same capacity as information retrieval from reference materials identified by the school. Specifically, SFCA supports those materials which will enhance research and inquiry abilities of the learner with directed guidance from faculty and staff. Acceptable uses of network and other computer resources are activities which support learning and teaching. With such wide access to computers and people all over the world, there is also the availability of material that may not be considered to be of educational value in the context of the school setting. There may be some material, individual contacts or communications which are not suitable for school-age children. SFCA has taken precautions to manage access to inappropriate materials. SFCA will make every effort to provide appropriate supervision; however, it is impossible to control all materials
22 on a global network (internet). The school cannot prevent the possibility that some users may access material that is not consistent with the educational mission, goals and policies of SFCA, since access to the internet may be obtained from sites other than a school. It is a general policy that SFCA’s intranet environment and internet access resources are to be used in a responsible, efficient, ethical, and legal manner. Failure to adhere to the general policy and guidelines will result in suspension or revocation of the user’s privileges of access. Unacceptable uses of the network include, but are not limited to: • violating the conditions of the Acceptable Use Conduct Agreement for Computer Equipment and Internet Access, Student Personal Technology Usage Agreement and the Code of Conduct policy; • using profanity, obscenity, or other language, which is offensive to another user; • reposting another individual’s communications without the author’s prior consent; • copying commercial software in violation of copyright law or other copyright protected material; • using the network for financial gain or for any commercial or illegal activity; • using the network for product advertisement or political lobbying; • the malicious attempt to harm or destroy data of another user or any other network is considered vandalism and is prohibited; • improperly using telecommunication services or technology and/or posting inappropriate information on the web, during or after school hours, that may interfere with the school environment. Use of an electronic mobile device during the school day is a privilege. Therefore, all students must: (a) Comply with Acceptable Use Conduct Agreement for Computer Equipment and Internet Access, Student Personal Technology Usage Agreement and the Code of Conduct. (b) Use only the specified Wi-Fi network for all network and internet access and refrain from destroying or damaging data, networks or other resources. (c) Use all internet filters and network security practices. (d) Report network security risks or violations of network security to a school administrator. (e) Refrain from creating ad-hoc, peer-to-peer, or other wireless networks with SFCA or student owned devices including the use of wireless hotspots or other similar devices. (f) Use the network for instructional and school related purposes only. (g) Follow copyright laws which prohibit the reproduction of content, eBooks, music, games or movies. (h) Refrain from intentionally accessing, transmitting, copying or creating mobile apps, websites or other material that contains inappropriate information, content, advertisements or any material that is illegal, not age appropriate or inappropriate for a school environment. Responsible use guidelines for bring your own device (BYOD) SFCA is committed to preparing all students and teachers to fully maximize the integration of technology resources into the academic program. The internet and computers on our network are used to support the educational objectives of the school. Use of the technologies is a privilege and is subject to a variety of terms and conditions. SFCA retains the right to change such terms and conditions at any time. Communication The student will use language that is appropriate when submitting academic work, participating in online forums and working collaboratively. The student will be thoughtful and mindful about the language used when posting online and sending messages to someone else. The student will be mindful of how words are interpreted by others. The student will avoid using profanity or any language that is offensive to anyone.
23 Privacy The student understands that anything done online or electronically is public information for everyone to see and it is monitored. The student will avoid sharing personal information about themselves, family, school, and others. This includes passwords, home addresses, phone numbers, ages, and birth date. The student understands that devices are subject to inspection if a violation is suspected. Honesty and Safety The student will avoid engaging behavior that puts themselves or others at risk. The student will present himself or herself honestly. This includes accessing the network using only their account. The student will seek help from an adult if they feel unsafe, bullied or witness unkind behavior. The student will only communicate with people they know. The student will follow safety guideless posted by sites to which they subscribe. Learning The student will have a positive attitude and be willing to explore different technologies. The student understands that there may be items online that are untrue and untrustworthy. The student agrees to document and properly cite all information acquired through online sources, including but not limited to, images, music, and videos. Respect for Self and Others The student will respond thoughtfully to the opinions, ideas and values of others. The student will refrain from recording, transmitting or posting photos, videos of any person, persons, or school events. The student will refrain from sending or sharing unkind or inappropriate emails or texts. Respect for school and personal property The student will take care of all equipment on school campus. The student will report misuse or inappropriate content to teachers and adults. The student will use technology for school-related purposes only. Technology Use The student will take full responsibility for their device and will ensure that their device is ready for a day of learning. The student is responsible for making sure it is charged and connected to the school’s Wi-Fi. The students know that their devices may only be used in certain areas and certain times. School Services Guidance Guidance at SFCA is aimed at helping students in their walk with God and in interpersonal relationships with others. This involves a concern for all phases of the student’s development – social, moral, emotional, physical, vocational, academic and spiritual. Our teachers, administrators and guidance counselors are available to help as part of their commitment to the ministry of Christian education for every student and may speak with students throughout the year as needed.
24 SFCA has an Elementary counselor who is here to help your child have a positive school experience. Lunch Program SFCA offers a full-service lunch program through McGregor Baptist Church. The food service offers a variety of lunch items to include salads, sandwiches, and “short order grill” items. Students may also bring their own lunch. IOU’s are not permitted. Grades K-2 receive a traditional hot lunch, which usually includes a meat entrée, vegetable, fruit, dessert and choice of white or chocolate milk, lemonade and water. Grades 3-5 can also choose from an ala carte menu, which has a variety of salads, sandwiches and soups, or they may order from the “short order grill.” Library SFCA shares the library with McGregor Baptist Church. We are blessed to have a library with many books, videos and other resources available to students and parents. The library procedure information will be made available early in the school year. We encourage parents to use the resources available. Standardized Testing All students through eighth grade will take a Standardized Achievement Test in the spring. It is used to measure scholastic achievement and to help evaluate curriculum effectiveness. Access codes for results are mailed home with the final report card. ARE YOU SAVED? Do You Have a Personal Relationship With God? We believe that everyone must have a personal relationship with God if they want to live an abundant life here on earth and spend eternity in heaven when this life is over. God loves you very much and desires to be in a relationship with you! This requires that a person must accept God’s gift of Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Lord of their life (John 3:16). Asking Jesus to be your Savior includes: Admitting you are a sinner (Romans 3:23) and desiring to turn from your sins to Christ (Acts 3:19); Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and died to pay the price for your sins (I Corinthians 15:3-4) and Confessing Jesus as your Savior and Lord (I John 1:9). This abundant life with God can start with a prayer like: Dear God; I know I have sinned and that my sin separates me from you. I am sorry for my sin. I believe Jesus died on the cross for me so my sin can be forgiven. I believe Jesus rose from the dead and is alive. God, please forgive me. I ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. I will obey You and live for You the rest of my life. Thank you. Amen. The SFCA staff and administration would love to answer questions and assist you in making this all important decision.
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